Beyond the beyond

Fri, 17 April 1980 00:00:00 GMT
Book Title:
The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol 11
Chapter #:
am in Buddha Hall
Archive Code:
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"Look, Captain Columbus, land! We've discovered land!"

"Wonderful! Cable Queen Isabella immediately!"

"But, Captain, the cable hasn't been invented yet!"

"Mamma mia! Do I have-a to do everything myself-a!"

Science is a tradition, it does not depend on one man's discovery. It is a continuity; many people have contributed, still many will go on contributing. Then too it is never going to be complete; something will always remain to be discovered. It is a social phenomenon. Without Newton there is no possibility of Albert Einstein; without Albert Einstein there will be no possibility of anybody else to find something beyond the concept of relativity. Science is interdependent; it is not one man's work. Much has to be accepted from others, much has to be borrowed; it is inheritance. Hence science depends on the past, it is rooted in the past.

Religion is totally different: every individual has to discover on his own. Religion is not a tradition and can never be a tradition. You cannot borrow insights from somebody else; the insight has to be authentically yours. Only then is it significant. You can see only through your own eyes, you can understand only through your own meditation, you can experience only through the flowering of your own heart.

And there is no question of dependence. If there had been no Buddha you could still be awakened, if there had been no Christ you could still be enlightened. Your enlightenment is absolutely your own, it is individual. That's the beauty of religion; that's why religion cannot be taught. Science can be taught; religion has to be discovered again and again by each and every individual, by each and every seeker.

The path of science is like walking on the earth; you leave your footprints. Buddha has said: The path of religion is like birds flying into the sky - they don't leave any footprints... so nobody can follow a buddha.

You can love a Buddha, but you cannot follow him. You can love a Christ, but you cannot follow him. Yes, your love will help you, will help you to understand, will give you courage to inquire, will strengthen your spirit to go into the unknown. It will be a tremendous help because the journey is without any maps and you are going into the ocean. The other shore, the farther shore is not visible; there is no guarantee that you will ever reach it. By loving a Buddha, a Christ, a Zarathustra, a Krishna, a Lao Tzu, a deep trust arises in you about the farther shore - that it exists: "If I search with my total being there is a possibility I may discover it." But the risk is great and everything has to be done by you. You have to go alone. You have to be totally alone; nobody can accompany you on the way.

The master can show you the path, but he cannot go with you. He can push you, he can encourage you, he can help in many ways, but still you have to go alone. You have to discover everything, each detail of the truth, again.

In science it is totally different: once a truth is discovered it is discovered for the whole of humanity. Once electricity is discovered there is no need for everybody to discover it again and again. That will be stupid, utterly stupid. Once discovered it becomes part of the whole humanity's heritage.

But it is not true about the inner, subjective truth. Thousands of times it has been discovered, but when it comes as a question, as an inquiry for you to discover it, you have to go again from ABC, as if you are the first, as if nobody has preceded you. You have to break the ice, you have to move in the virgin land.

This is a great challenge. Cowards shrink from it, but courageous people feel tremendously attracted. Courageous people find it almost like a magnetic force pulling them. Hence Buddha always talks about fearlessness. He says: WITHOUT FEAR, GO.

Other religions, particularly the organized religions, are rooted in fear. If Buddha had written the ancient parable of Adam and Eve and their expulsion from heaven he would have written it in a totally different way. He would have appreciated Adam and Eve. He would not have called it the original sin, he would have called it the original virtue - that they rebelled, that they were not afraid of God and the punishment, that they were fearless people.

He would not have condemned them, that much is certain; he would have praised them immensely. It was a challenge to their spirit, to their very soul, to have been told, "Don't eat from this tree, the tree of knowledge, because if you eat from this tree you will be punished, tremendously punished - not only you but your progeny also will be punished for ever and ever."

And the punishment was going to be great. God had said to Adam and Eve, "If you eat from the tree of knowledge, if you eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge, you will become mortal. Right now you are immortal." Death was going to be the punishment.

What more punishment can there be? Death is the ultimate in punishment.

Buddha would have appreciated them. If Adam and Eve had not rebelled, had not eaten from the tree of knowledge, there would have been no humanity - and there would have been no Christ, no Buddha, no Zarathustra, no Lao Tzu. Adam and Eve would be still roaming naked like animals in the Garden of Eden. There would have been nothing like humanity. This consciousness, this awareness, this inquiry - nothing would have been there. The whole credit goes to Adam and Eve.

And the serpent would not have been the Devil. In Buddha's story, the serpent must have been an ancient buddha provoking Adam and Eve, "Go without fear and eat the fruit and don't be afraid, don't be cowards!" In the East the serpent has always represented wisdom. Jesus also says: Be ye as wise as serpents. The serpent in the East represents the inherent power, the seed power of your ultimate flowering; it is your potential. Hence KUNDALINI is called serpent power.

Kundalini means the serpent lying there fast asleep; it has to be awakened. Once it wakes up it starts rising upwards. When it reaches to the ultimate center of your being - - SAHASRAR - the last center, the last rung of the ladder, you have arrived home. The serpent is not a representative, a disguised form, of the Devil. Buddha would have written the whole story in a totally different way.

But Christianity, Judaism, both are fear-oriented; so is Islam, so is Hinduism. Only two religions in the world, Buddhism and Jainism, are not; otherwise all other religions are fear-oriented. Only these two religions are rooted in fearlessness, and I cannot see how a religion can be fear-oriented. In all the languages of the world we have words like 'God-fearing' for religious people; that is utter nonsense. A religious person is not God- fearing, he is God-loving - and love and fear don't exist together. If you love somebody you are not afraid; if you are afraid you cannot love.

Love does not exist in the world for the simple reason that we have been trying to create love through fear. The father, the mother, the priest, the politician, they all are trying to create fear in you. The mother says, "Listen to me, otherwise you will suffer!" The father says, "I am powerful." In a thousand and one ways he proves his power over the helpless child and then says to the child, "Love me - I am your father!" Of course the child has to pretend, because he is dependent, he is helpless. He loves the mother out of fear; his love is pseudo. He loves the father out of fear; it is only a pretension, it is hypocrisy. He loves God out of fear - the fear of hell, the fear of being punished, the fear of being tortured.

And do you know? Christianity believes that if you commit sins you will suffer in hell forever. That seems such an absurd concept. How many sins can a man commit in one small life? And Christianity believes in only one life. If Hindus were thinking that you will suffer for a long time in hell one could understand the arithmetic because they believe in millions of lives, so you can commit as many sins as you like. Of course, the suffering will be in the same proportion, the punishment will be in the same proportion.

But Christianity proposes an eternal hell. And what sins can you commit? You can smoke cigarettes and then in hell you will be thrown in fire and you will smoke forever and forever! Or you can be an alcoholic, but how much can you drink in one small life?

Out of seventy years one third goes into sleep; you can't commit any sin in your sleep unless your dreams are also counted. Another one third goes into the offices, into the factories, into the fields, into the shops.... How much time have you got to commit sins?

Just count all the days - you will not find much time. And your sins will be just trivia.

Yes, you can fall in love with your neighbor's wife, but for that you will be suffering for ever and ever? It is utterly unjust, unfair! Maybe three or four years' imprisonment in hell will do, but eternity? Can you conceive of eternity? It will never end, the suffering will be unending!

This is just to create fear. And people love God out of this fear, they pray out of this fear.

Buddha is against fear; fear is the original sin according to him. He believes in fearlessness - he believes, and he believes rightly; it is his experience. It is my experience too, that true love happens only when fear disappears completely.

A true religion has not happened in the world because we have been trying to create a cheap religion based on fear. True love has not happened in the world. The wife is afraid of the husband, hence she pretends to love; the husband is afraid of the wife, hence he goes on saying, "Darling, I love you!" as many times as possible.

That's what Dale Carnegie suggests to all the husbands: "Whether you love her or not, that is not the point. Repeat it as many times in the day as possible, as many opportunities as there are. Once or twice from the office phone your wife just to say 'I love you.'" And this is all out of fear.

Because of fear the world is missing the roses of love. Love can happen - every man is born with infinite capacity for love - but fear cripples everybody, paralyzes everybody.

Buddha says to his bodhisattvas: Go and teach people these few fundamental things.

The first thing he says:


These sayings are his code words; you will have to understand his code words. In those old days things had to be remembered, so only very small sutras, very condensed sutras were given. Each sutra is expressed in a code language; you have to decode it. You have to translate it into contemporary language; otherwise you will miss the significance of it.

WANTING NOTHING.... How is it possible - wanting nothing? That is the most fundamental truth in Buddha's teachings. He is not saying don't want anything, remember; that will be a misunderstanding. He is saying: WANTING NOTHING WITH ALL YOUR HEART STOP THE STREAM.

By "the stream" he means the mind. He always calls the mind the stream because it goes on flowing; whether you are awake or asleep it goes on flowing. It is the stream of thoughts.

In the modern world, William James, one of the great psychologists, used for the first time a Buddhist expression for the mind; he called it "stream of consciousness." Buddha says it is like a river constantly flowing. How can you stop it? The old methods are to repress, to control, but they have failed, utterly failed; they had failed even in Buddha's time.

In a sense Buddha is the first psychologist of the world, not Sigmund Freud. And Buddha's insight into the mind is far deeper than all your psychologists put together.

There is no way to get rid of the constant overpowering flood of mind energy, of mindstuff, just by controlling it or by repressing it. Repression is absolutely destructive.

If you repress something it will come up again and again and you will have to repress it again and again. Your whole life will become a kind of civil war; you will be constantly fighting with yourself. And the fight is going to be unending because you cannot destroy the mind in this way; this is not the way to get rid of the mind. In fact, you are giving mind great energy by fighting with it.

Mind can be given energy in two ways: either by fighting with it or by indulging in it.

One leads to repression, the other leads to identification, and both go on nourishing the mind. The stream becomes bigger and bigger.

You can repress - repression is easy - and the whole of humanity has learned to repress because you always fall for the easy. Repression is not a difficult thing. Anger arises: you can sit upon it, you can go on smiling a false smile, and sooner or later you will forget about it. But it is there boiling within you and you are accumulating every day more and more anger. Anger has a beauty of its own if it is spontaneous, but you are accumulating anger which will become irrelevant, it will not be spontaneous.

Something may have happened ten years ago; now it has no reference to reality, no context - and suddenly you explode. You look insane. That's how people go insane. If they had been angry ten years before when the right context was there, nobody would have called them insane, but for ten years they were sitting on it; then it became too much. And then for ten years continuously they were accumulating more and more anger. Every day they were repressing, they were sitting on a volcano; sooner or later it was going to erupt. Either that, or you have to become so dead and dull, so unalive that nothing can erupt. You have to withdraw yourself so totally from life, into a monastery, you have to become so insensitive to life that people can go on insulting you and you gather such a thick skin that nothing penetrates you....

Giovanni was sentenced to jail for having made love with his wife's body a few hours after her death. "Do you have anything to say in your own defense?" asked the judge.

"Honest, Mista Your Honor," replied the Italian, "I didn't know she was-a dead. She has- a been like-a that for the last-a twenty years!"

There are millions of people who are not really alive - afraid of being alive because if they are alive then their anger, their lust, their greed, all become alive. To keep them repressed they have to remain at the minimum; they never live at the maximum. And not to live at the maximum is to miss God, is to miss all - all the beauties and the benedictions of life.

You should live at the maximum; only then do you come to know the tremendous beauty of existence. Only from that height do you become aware of the immense splendor, of the constant celebration that goes on and on. But you cannot live to the maximum; you are afraid because if you live so totally then all that you have repressed will come up.

Millions of people have decided for a dead life; before they really die they are dead.

They live only for the minimum, to earn a livelihood; not to live but just to vegetate.

They are so afraid - the priests have made them so afraid.

Buddha is against repression. And if you repress something it will start finding some other way to come up, some perverted way. That's why I say that all sexual perversions have religious origins, for the simple reason that all religions have been against sexuality.

Sex has to be transformed, not repressed. It is pure energy, it is fire! But you need not burn your house with the fire. You can heat your house when it is too cold, you can make your house full of light when it is dark. It is the same fire which becomes light, which becomes heat, but it can also burn your house. You have to be very alert, careful, cautious.

Your life energies are neutral: they can harm you, they can help you; it all depends on you. Don't condemn them. You are responsible - and only you!

But people go on condemning sex as if sex has something to do with you. Sex has nothing to do with you; sex is pure energy. But if you repress it it will become a perversion; then it will find ways. If you close the natural way, then it comes through some unnatural way. And you are the same stupid person, you have not changed at all; your understanding has not grown up.

Mulla Nasruddin came from his village to the big city, and a rich friend invited him to his box at the opera.

Said the friend, "We will be sitting close to other people, so be sure to change your socks before you come!"

A short time after they entered their opera seats, the neighbors started turning their noses up at the bad smell.

"I told you to change your socks," said the friend to Mulla.

"I most certainly did," said Nasruddin. "And furthermore I knew you wouldn't believe me, so I brought the old socks right here in my pocket to prove it!"

If you are the same old stupid guy it does not matter what you do with your sex, with your greed, with your jealousy. They will be coming back in some other form, by some other route; they will become even more subtle.

Buddha says what is needed is more awareness, more understanding - neither repression nor control. If you can become aware of your desires, if you can watch your desires, then a miracle happens, the greatest miracle of all. The moment you become aware of your desires you can easily see that no desire can ever be fulfilled; its very nature is unfulfillable. Every desire is just a hankering for something which cannot be, every desire means more and more and more. Now, how can you fulfill this constant hankering for more? You can have all the wealth of the world, still the desire will be there.

I have heard that when Diogenes said to Alexander the Great, "Have you ever thought about one thing? - although it is a very remote possibility, have you thought about it?

You may really conquer the whole world - then what? There is no other world to conquer, there is only one world. If you really succeed - have you ever pondered over the matter? - then what will you do?"

And it is said that Alexander became very sad. Diogenes laughed and he said, "Look!

You have not yet conquered it, but the very idea that if you conquer the whole world...

what are you going to do next? - because there is no other world. You will be quite at a loss, because the mind will ask for more. It is not going to be satisfied with this world only - it is not going to be satisfied."

Mind means discontent; it is its very nature. Desires are only manifestations of this discontent. When you watch your desires you slowly slowly become aware of the futility of desiring, you become aware of the absurd nature of desiring. You become aware that by their very nature desires are unfulfillable. Seeing this, a transformation happens, a miracle happens, a radical change sets in; but by seeing this - not by repression, not by control but by understanding.

A violinist was convinced he could use his art in music to tame wild animals. So, violin in hand, he traveled to the heart of the African jungle to prove it.

He had no sooner begun to play than the jungle clearing was filled with animals of all kinds gathering to hear him play. Birds, lions, hippos, elephants - all stood round entranced by his beautiful music.

Just then a crocodile crept out of the nearby river and into the clearing and - snap! - gobbled up the violinist.

The other animals were extremely irate. "What on earth did you do that for?" they demanded. "We were enjoying that."

"Eh?" said the crocodile, cupping its hand to its ear.

The mind is absolutely deaf; it goes on and on doing the same stupid things, never seeing, never listening to the message. Every desire brings you to a point where a radical change can happen, but the mind can neither see nor can it hear. It is blind, it is deaf. As one desire fails it simply jumps on another desire. If one desire fails, the mind thinks, "If this desire has failed that does not mean that all other desires are going to fail." It goes on hoping that there must be some desires which can be fulfilled, maybe not this time but next time; if not today then tomorrow; if not in this life then in the life after death, in heaven. But the mind goes on and on thinking in the same old rut.

At the scene of a bank raid the police sergeant came running up to his inspector and said, "He got away, sir!"

The inspector was furious. "But I told you to put a man on all the exits!" he roared.

"How could he have got away?"

"He left by one of the entrances, sir!"

The mind always finds a way to convince you again of the same stupid game. Buddha says watch it. It is only through watchfulness that wanting nothing happens.

And your watchfulness has to be with all your heart; it should not be partial, otherwise it is not going to work - because if you only watch partially then the part that has not been involved will go on doing the old tricks, the old strategies. Your whole heart has to be watchful so no dark spot is left in you, so your whole being becomes aware of the absurdity of desiring.

Jimmy Carter was visiting one of the largest institutions for the mentally unbalanced.

He finished inspecting the main building and wanted to see the Farm Section. His chauffeur was not around so the president boarded the regular bus.

In a few minutes the keeper brought on some inmates. When they were seated he began counting, "1, 2, 3, 4, 5...." He got to the president and said, "Who are you?"

Mr. Carter said, "Why, I'm the president of the United States!"

The keeper said, "6, 7, 8...."

It does not matter who you are, where you are. If you are still desiring you are mad: "6, be the president of a country? For years people try to become the president of a country; almost their whole life is devoted to a single goal, to be the president of a country. And what is attained? With the same energy they could have become buddhas, with the same effort they could have become awakened. But we put our energies to such wrong goals - money, power, prestige - and they all lead to insanity.

Desiring is insane. Enjoy life! - but don't be too much bothered about tomorrows. Don't sacrifice your today for tomorrows; otherwise you will always go on missing all the opportunities which open up for your inner growth.


Watch. Try to understand the very nature of desiring, and in that very understanding there comes a stop of its own accord. The stream simply disappears, evaporates, as if it has never been there. And the moment you are free of the mind you are free of all misery, of all discontent.


With the dissolution of the mind, the whole world that the mind has created around itself also dissolves, obviously - it depended on the mind, it was mind's projection. Not that the trees will disappear and the roses will disappear... roses will be far rosier and trees will be far greener. People will be far more beautiful; even pebbles on the seashore will be like diamonds. Everything will become precious.

This world, the real world, is not going to disappear with your mind, but you are living in a totally different private world: the world of your desires. You don't see the real world, you only see your own private world projected on the real world. The real world is simply being used as a screen on which you go on projecting your desires. You never see that which is; you only go on seeing that which you desire.

It is said that the shoemaker never looks at people's faces, he always looks at their shoes. Of course he is not concerned with their faces, he has nothing to do with their faces; he is concerned with their shoes. And by seeing the shoes he knows about the person; the shoe contains all the messages for him: whether the person is rich or poor, successful or unsuccessful. The shoe will say everything: the shape of the shoe, the newness, the oldness, the tiredness of the shoe; everything will say what kind of man this is. The shoe, analyzed by a shoemaker, will give you a perfect analysis of the man.

There is no need to go to a psychoanalyst, you can go to the shoemaker, leave the shoe with him. And he can make a chart about you: what kind of man you are, what is happening in your life.

The tailors never see you, they only see your clothes. They decide from your clothes.

People see only that which they desire and they project their desire. If somebody is full of lust even an ugly woman may look beautiful.

Mulla Nasruddin goes to a hill station once in a while; he has a bungalow there.

Sometimes he says, "I am going for three weeks," and comes back after only ten days. It happened many times so I asked him, "You never follow your decision. You say, 'I am going for three weeks,' then you are back within a week. Sometimes you say, 'I am going for five weeks,' and you are back in ten days. What is the matter?"

He laughed; he said, "I have a criterion and I cannot decide from here. You know that I have got a bungalow in the hill station - well, I have kept one woman there to look after the bungalow. She is the ugliest woman you can conceive of and how long I am going to stay is determined by that woman."

I said, "I don't understand."

He said, "Let me explain. She is so repulsive, so disgusting, but when I go there, after two or three days she is not so repulsive, so disgusting. After four or five days I even start seeing something beautiful in her. By the seventh or eighth day she starts looking really beautiful. The moment I see that a desire for her is arising in me, I escape - that's how I decide. That means now it is time for me to leave. I know that she is ugly, but my eyes are deceiving me now, now they are projecting. Now my unfulfilled sexual lust is being projected on her; she is not what she is appearing to me. Then I start escaping - I am going insane. Then I immediately rush back home; it is time to go home, otherwise there is danger. And I don't want to make love to that disgusting woman. I know perfectly well she is disgusting, but there comes a time, somewhere between seven and ten days, when she starts looking so beautiful, as if she is a Sophia Loren."

You experience this again and again, but you don't understand. When for the first time you fall in love with a woman or a man, the other looks almost like a god or a goddess; that is your projection. Soon you will be disillusioned. The fault lies with you, not with the other. It is not that the other has cheated you; the other has not done anything. You were starving, you were hankering, you were living with a repressed desire and that desire created an illusion for you. You fell in love, you saw something which was not there. Lovers go on seeing things which are not there, nobody else sees them; that's why lovers are thought mad by everybody else. They themselves will think they were mad after two or three weeks, but when they are in love for the first time they think they have discovered the woman they are made for - that they are made for each other.

Here, I go on receiving letters. One woman sannyasin finds somebody almost every month and she writes to me and she forgets all about the fact that she has been writing it for at least three years: "Beloved Master, it seems we are made for each other." She has no idea that she has written this at least fifty times! But when she is infatuated with somebody she forgets everything else.

I reminded her. She said, "The other times I may have been wrong, but this time, believe me, we are made for each other!" And within two or three weeks these people who are made for each other are finished.

In fact, nobody is made for anybody else; everybody is made for himself or herself.

Nobody is made for anybody - God never makes you in pairs! Drop that whole nonsense. He simply makes individuals.

In the East we have stories - they must be stories, they cannot be history. In Jaina scriptures it is said that in the beginning when the world started, God used to make men and women together. Each mother used to give birth to twins, one girl, one boy; they were going to be husband and wife. They were not sister and brother - they were made for each other! That must be a wish fulfillment. Man has always been thinking, "There must be someone with whom I am going to fit absolutely. Somewhere someone must exist who is just for me and I am for her." There is nobody just for you or you for anybody. God creates only individuals, God believes in individuality - he is an individualist.

In fact, marriage is a human invention, God does not believe in marriage. He himself is alone without a wife; you can see - the point is so clear. Otherwise he would at least have married the Holy Ghost! The Holy Ghost can be turned into a woman or a man - a ghost is a ghost! He does not have any body; he could have given it a body. If he can create the whole world, can't he create a woman for himself? He was so generous with man - he gave man first a woman, Lilith. And Lilith was really a beautiful woman, but the first night there was a pillow fight - the first liberated woman! The Women's Liberation movement started with Lilith. And the fight was because God had given them only a single bed and both wanted to sleep on it and it was not big enough for two persons. Lilith simply rejected the idea that she should sleep on the floor. She said, "If you want to sleep on the floor you can!"

Adam felt very insulted - a man, and sleeping on the floor, and the woman sleeping in the bed? In the middle of the night they knocked on God's door and said, "You have to settle it."

God also seems to be very strange - it was such a simple thing. He could have called Asheesh: "Make a double bed!" That's what I would have done. Why make so much fuss about it? Or if Asheesh was going to take a long time - as he usually does - he could have removed the bed: "Both of you can sleep on the floor, be equal!" He could have sent Deeksha to remove it; she would have removed everything, even the floor!

But God's ways are strange.

He dissolved Lilith. He said, "You disappear. You will not be able to work it out." Then he made Eve, taking a rib out of Adam so that she would be a part of Adam. That is an ugly act, that is very antifeminist. And since then God has been a male chauvinist pig!

Nobody is made for anybody else, hence no two persons can fit absolutely. All your ideas about fitting with the other are illusions, and they are shattered sooner or later.

Either you have to compromise or you have to separate. But nobody is made for the other.

Those who understand, they start accepting the uniqueness of the other, they start respecting the uniqueness of the other. They know they are different, yet they have decided to be together. And it is beautiful that they are different because that variety gives richness to life.

But you go on creating a world around yourself, an illusory world. Buddha is talking about that world when he says: WHEN THE WORLD DISSOLVES - he means when the mind dissolves with all its projections - EVERYTHING BECOMES CLEAR.

When all your projections are gone you have a clarity, an immense clarity, no clouds in your consciousness. You can see through and through. That seeing is freedom, that seeing is salvation, that seeing is nirvana, that seeing is coming home.


Go to that seeing. Go beyond the mind, go beyond the known, because the mind consists of the known. And go beyond the knowable because whatsoever is knowable will sooner or later become known and will again create the mind. So go beyond the known - known means that which has already become your mind - and the knowable - that which is potentially going to become your mind sooner or later. Go beyond the known and the knowable so that you can enter into the unknowable, into the mysterious. The beyond represents the mysterious.


Buddha is not a fanatic; he says it doesn't matter which way you follow. Remember:

you have to go beyond the mind. Follow any way! This is his beauty - it is very rare.

You will not find this quality in religious fanatics; he is not a fanatic at all. He says it is immaterial what way you follow, whether you swim to the other shore or you go by a boat or a steamship or how you manage... that is up to you. Go to the other shore; that is the point. Every path is valid if it leads to the other shore, every path is valid if it leads you beyond the mind.

And there are only two paths. One is awareness, meditation - Buddha's path. And the other is love, devotion, the path of the Sufis. There are basically only two paths, but Buddha is very clear. He says: THIS WAY OR THAT WAY....

By "this way" he means his path; by "that way" he means the path of love, of devotion.

That is not his path, but he does not prohibit you. He does not say that you cannot reach by the other path. He does not say, "My path is the only path." He does not say, he does not claim, "Only those who come with me will reach and everyone else will fall into hell." No! He says, "You can follow other paths too. Just keep one thing in your consciousness - that you have to go beyond."



"Beyond the beyond" is Buddha's expression for God; he never uses the word 'God'. But "beyond the beyond" is exactly what the word 'God' represents. Why does he say "beyond the beyond"? Is it not enough to call it "the beyond"? It is not, because when you say "the beyond" it seems you have comprehended it; it means your mind has comprehended. When you say "the other shore" it means that it is the other shore, but it is something like this shore; at least it is also a shore so it must be something like this - maybe a little bit different, more beautiful, with more trees, with more greenery, with more beautiful flowers and fragrance - but a shore is a shore.

"This shore" and "that shore" your mind can comprehend. Hence he says: Anything that is comprehensible to the mind has to be left behind. The beyond is comprehensible.


When a man came to Buddha - he had been practicing meditation for years - he said, "You have told me, 'Attain to nothing,' and I have attained it. Now what else do I have to do?"

Buddha said, "Now throw it away! Go out and throw it away!"

He was puzzled. He said, "I have spent years in attaining it!"

Buddha said, "The only purpose in attaining it is to throw it - then only will you be really in a state of nothing; otherwise, this nothing has become something - you have attained it. It is not real nothing. How can you attain real nothing? Real nothing is not attainable, it is not graspable. It is beyond grasp, it is beyond comprehension. So go out and throw it!"

A king came to Buddha with many diamonds in one hand, very precious, very rare, and with a lotus flower in the other hand, out of season. He wanted to offer the diamonds.

Buddha said, "Drop it!" So he dropped the diamonds - reluctantly, because it was such a great treasure - thinking, "This man does not understand what he is saying." But ten thousand monks are there and now not to drop them will look miserly and people will laugh and they will say, "If you have come to offer him something and he orders, 'Drop it!' then drop it! You have offered them to him, now it is his business what to do with them." So he dropped them, but very reluctantly.

Then he offered the lotus flower. Buddha said, "Drop it!" He dropped that flower too.

Now he was standing with empty hands and Buddha said, "Drop it!" Now the king was at a loss. He said, "Sir, I don't have anything to drop; my hands are utterly empty."

Buddha said, "Then DROP it!" Now the king thought, "This man is crazy! I am saying my hands are empty, still he says 'Drop it!'" One of Buddha's bodhisattvas, Manjushree, laughed and he said, "Sir, you don't understand my master. He is saying, 'Don't carry this idea of emptiness, drop that too - because the idea of emptiness is enough to fill yourself; the idea of emptiness is enough to create a mind.' Buddha is saying, 'Drop ALL unconditionally. And when you have dropped all, don't carry this idea that now nothing is left. Drop that too so you have nothing to claim.'" That is the meaning of going beyond the beyond. That is the ultimate state of nirvana - when the ego, the mind, the personality, all cease to exist and you disappear into the mysterious, into the miraculous, into the universal.



This is what meditation is all about: watching your desires, understanding their nature... and letting them fall like dry leaves from the trees in the autumn.


And when meditation has happened and desire has disappeared, then live out of that innocence. Right now you are living out of desires. You desire this, you desire that, and sometimes you desire even God, sometimes you desire nirvana, sometimes you desire even meditation, but you live out of desires.

There is another kind of life - the real life - which is lived through innocence, without desiring. So whatsoever comes on the way you enjoy, you rejoice, but you don't desire.

LIVE PURELY - that's what Buddha calls a pure life: a life which is not lived out of desires.


Naturally you will be quiet - when there is no desire left there is no turmoil left.


Then whatsoever you are doing, whatsoever you enjoy doing, do it with mastery and skill. He loved skill very much, he loved excellence, he loved perfection. He was not a perfectionist, remember, because he was not a neurotic person, but he loved perfection.

Do everything with your totality. Whatsoever you are doing, do it with such love, with such commitment and involvement that for the moment that is your whole life.

Once Vincent van Gogh was asked by somebody, "Which is your best painting?"

He was doing a painting. He said, "This one - this is the best."

After a few months the man asked again - he was painting something else - he asked, "Which is your best painting?"

He said, "This one."

The man said, "But this is not right. Just a few months ago you said about some other painting that that was your best."

Vincent van Gogh said, "Whatsoever I am doing at the moment is the best. It is always this, it is never that. It is always now, it is never then."

This is the way of perfection, the way of excellence, the way of skill, mastery.

Whatsoever you are doing, do it as if it is a question of life and death. Put your total energy into it, and it will give you tremendous bliss. Don't be halfhearted. Only then does creativity bloom, only then do you become a participant in God the creator.



These are code words. The sun represents the warrior. The sun is hot energy; the sun is violent energy. The moon represents the meditator, the mystic; it is cool energy. It is the same energy, remember - it is the same energy, it is not a different energy. But passing through the moon the sunrays become cool; that is the miracle of the moon, the alchemical change that happens through the moon. The moon simply reflects sunrays; it is a mirror. But just by passing through the moon a radical change happens: the rays which are hot, violent, become silent, cool, peaceful.

The sun represents the warrior, the fighter, the soldier. The moon represents the sannyasin, the meditator, the mystic.


The day belongs to the warrior, the sun belongs to the warrior. The warrior means one who is trying to conquer others, who is trying to become a master of others. That is a stupid effort, but it is cheaper. It is easy to enslave somebody else, it is always easy to find somebody who is weaker than you, it is easy to impose yourself upon somebody.

But the mystic, the meditator is moving in a totally different direction - he is moving in his interiority. He is trying to be a master of himself, not of others but of himself - and that is true mastery. The first effort is stupid.

And the world has been dominated by the soldiers for centuries, that's why the world is in such a mess. The world needs more and more sannyasins because each sannyasin becomes a moon: he transforms the violent energy of the world into a cool pool of energy. The world needs to be full of sannyasins, only then can we have a world which forgets the ways of war and learns the language of peace and love. The world needs many sannyasins as transformers of energy.

That's exactly what is meant by a buddhafield: where many sannyasins are together and create such a great transforming force that all kinds of energies passing through the buddhafield become cool, become feminine, become more like flowers and less like rocks. They lose their hardness, they become delicate - delicate like rose petals.

BY NIGHT THE MOON SHINES.... The night is the time of the mystic, the day is the time of the warrior. The night represents a change in the whole atmosphere. It is easier to meditate in the night than in the day. Meditation is far closer to sleep than to any other activity, with only one difference: in sleep you fall unconscious, in meditation you remain conscious, but with the same relaxation. In the day it is difficult to sleep; if you want to sleep in the day you have to close the doors and the windows and pull all the curtains so it becomes dark. If sunrays are coming they won't allow you to sleep; sunrays activate your energies. Night helps you to rest and relax. It is the time of the mystic.

Sannyasins should use the time of night more and more for meditation. You can go deeper, and easily, because the winds are blowing that way; you can move with the winds with less effort. In the day you are moving against the winds. In the day active meditations are good; dynamic meditation is good in the day, dancing meditation is good in the day. But in the night vipassana, silent meditations, just sitting and doing nothing, just relaxing because the whole atmosphere is relaxing.... The sun has gone down, the trees have fallen asleep; it is a totally different quality of energy that surrounds you in the night. It is easy to meditate.

Buddha says: THE MASTER SHINES IN MEDITATION in the night.

By "the master" he means one who is trying to be a master of himself; by "warrior" he means one who is trying to be a master of others. But once you have attained, once you have become enlightened, then there is no question of day and night, no question of sun and moon.


The buddha, the awakened, the enlightened one shines both in the night and in the day; there is no difference for him. Once you have become awakened, then nothing makes any difference. But till that happens use the night atmosphere more and more for meditation.

And when the moon is there in the night it is far easier to meditate. The full-moon night is the best for meditation. Many people who have become buddhas have attained their enlightenment on the full-moon night, even Buddha himself. It may have been a coincidence, but it is significant to remember: he was born on the full-moon night, he became enlightened on the full-moon night and he died on the full-moon night.

Something in the full moon seemed to be synchronizing with his energy.

Use it. Be alert and use every possibility to help you go in. Once you are awakened, then there is no problem. Then you can be at ease, at rest, at peace, anywhere.

Somebody asked Buddha, "When you die will you go to heaven?"

Buddha said, "Don't ask nonsense questions. Wherever a buddha is there is heaven.

Buddhas don't go to heaven; wherever a buddha goes, heaven goes there."

This is much closer to the truth, far more beautiful; the very statement is significant.

There is no question of enlightened ones going to paradise - enlightened ones live in paradise wherever they are. You can send them to hell - if there is a hell - and the hell will be transformed. By their very presence the hell will become a buddhafield. By their very presence the energies of hell will go through a transformation.

Once it happened:

A Christian priest was delivering a sermon one Sunday and he said, "Those who don't believe in God and live immoral lives will go to hell; those who believe in God and live moral lives will go to heaven."

A man stood up and asked, "A question has arisen in me. The question is: Those who don't believe in God and live a moral life, where will they go? Those who believe in God and live immoral lives, where will they go?"

The priest was at a loss; he had not thought about it. The question was tricky. He said, "Please give me time to ponder over it. After seven days I will answer, next Sunday."

Those seven days were real hell for him. He tried to figure it out, but it was impossible to figure it out. If he says, "Those who don't believe in God and are moral still go to heaven," then the man will say, "Why believe in God? Why bother about God at all? Just being moral is enough." He thought, "And if I say the people who don't believe in God and are moral have to go to hell, then morality loses all relevance. Then why be moral?

Just believing in God is enough. Believe in God and live as immorally as possible. Why miss that opportunity?" He was driving himself crazy, he could not sleep. Continuously he was thinking and consulting books, but there was no answer coming.

Sunday came; he came a little early to the church to pray to Jesus. "Help me!" he prayed to Jesus. The whole night he had not slept so while he was praying he fell asleep, and he dreamed a beautiful dream, a very significant dream. He saw that he was in a train. He asked where the train was going and the other passengers said, "The train is going to heaven."

He said, "This is very good! That's what I wanted to see - see with my own eyes.

Socrates never believed in God, but he lived a moral life. Buddha never believed in God, but he lived one of the purest lives. Mahavira never believed in God, but who can surpass Mahavira in his moral life? If I can find these three people there, then the question is solved; if I don't find them there, then too the question is solved."

The train reached heaven; he was very much surprised. Seeing heaven, he could not believe it - it looked more like hell! Of course the board said it was heaven, but it had not been painted, it seems, for centuries. So much dust had collected, everything was dirty. It looked like a desert: no greenery, no trees, no roses, no lotuses. He came across a few saints who looked almost dead, somehow dragging themselves. Dust had also gathered on them as if they had forgotten how to take a bath, as if nobody took baths in heaven.

He asked, "Is Socrates here? Is Buddha here? Is Mahavira here?"

Those saints said, "Never heard of these people."

He rushed to the inquiry office. He inquired, "Is there a train that goes to hell?"

They said, "Yes, it is leaving immediately. You can catch it right now."

And he rushed in the train towards hell, and as hell came closer he was again in for a great surprise: so much fragrance, so much greenery, so many flowers, so many beautiful birds, and singing and dancing. He said, "What is the matter?" And everybody looked so joyous, so radiant. He asked people on the station, "Is this really hell? Is THIS hell?"

They said, "Yes, this is hell, and nobody can believe this is hell. Since these three people - Socrates, Buddha and Mahavira - arrived, everything changed. They have transformed the whole scene. Just the name is hell now - it is really heaven. And the other place is only heaven in name; it has become hell."

I agree absolutely with the dream. I can visualize that your so-called saints, wherever they are, will create hell. But if a man like Buddha or Socrates or Mahavira or Jesus or Lao Tzu or Zarathustra is in hell, then hell has to change. It is not a question of the place; the question is of who is there.


You can say hell or heaven... THE MAN WHO IS AWAKE SHINES IN THE RADIANCE OF THE SPIRIT. Wherever he is he creates a new world, he creates a totally new energy. He is an alchemical transformer.

First, don't be soldiers, be sannyasins, because that is how one day you can become buddhas. Move towards self-mastery. Use all devices, methods, to become a master of your own self. And then one day, when the mind has disappeared with all its illusions and you have attained to clarity, when you can see that which is as it is, you are a buddha. Then wherever you are there is paradise.

Enough for today.

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From Jewish "scriptures":

"He who sheds the blood of the Goyim, is offering a sacrifice to God."

-- (Talmud - Jalqut Simeoni)